So you’re planning to travel this holiday season! Why not! The holidays are often the best times to go sightseeing abroad, go back to your hometown to attend family reunions, or go on a cruise. Have you made the necessary plans to ensure that your trip will be most-enjoyable and worry-free?
Do you plan to use cash, check or a plastic credit card to pay for your travel expenses? Most travelers prefer to use credit cards for convenience and safety. Today however, you can choose from a regular credit card and a prepaid credit card. If you plan to use a prepaid card on your trip, consider the following tips for you:
Avoid prepaid cards with excessive fees. Not all prepaid credit or debit cards in the market are worth choosing. You should definitely avoid ones with expensive fees. For instance, most prepaid debit cards charge loading fees which means you incur an extra cost for “reloading” or placing funds in your account. The ideal prepaid card should give you the option to reload your account at no extra cost.
Avoid cash advances. You might be avoiding using your credit card for cash advance transactions because of the interest rate and fees. You should follow the same principle in using your prepaid debit card. Using a prepaid card to take out cash from the ATM can cost you withdrawal charges ranging from $2 and above, depending on the amount withdrawn.
Plan your purchases. Avoid frequent trips to the counter by carrying a shopping list with you. This is because prepaid debit cards usually charge a fee for every transaction. If you fall in line at the cash register twice, you will also incur transactions fees twice. On the other hand, if your prepaid debit card is swiped only once, then you will pay the fee for a single transaction.
Know the restrictions. While many merchants and establishments recognize prepaid credit cards, especially those that bear the VISA and MasterCard logos, you might still come across businesses that only accept standard credit cards. For example, some car rental companies and hotels have more strict policies and may refuse to accept online reservations using a prepaid credit card.
You might need to personally visit the car rental company’s location and show additional proof of identification in order for your prepaid debit card to be accepted. Another issue is the holding fee. Most hotels and car rental companies will “hold” a specific amount from your balance until you have checked out or returned the rented vehicle. If you plan to use a prepaid card, make sure that you have sufficient balance to pay for the actual fees as well as the “holding fee”.
Avoid fraudulent cards. Fraudulent prepaid credit cards are prevalent in the market so it’s important to get a card only from a reputable issuer or distributor. While it is technically quick and easy to obtain a prepaid card, you want to spend some time evaluating your options. Last but not least, Carefully read the Terms and Conditions before acquiring the prepaid card.
About the Author:
Tara Tiemann is the credit specialist for http://www.go-prepaid.com. Which is a resource site for people who want to live debt free! If you are on a budget, using a prepaid debit cards and merchandise credit cards can save you big money!